Former Abbotsford Hindu priest jailed on sex charges denied parole

Published: July 31, 2014

Karam Vir is serving a 21/2-year sentence

Abbotsford Hindu priest denied parole

Former Abbotsford Hindu priest Karam Vir has been denied parole. PNG Archive

JENNIFER SALTMAN
VANCOUVER DESI

A former Hindu priest from Abbotsford who was convicted of sex crimes involving two teenage girls has been denied day and full parole.

According to a recent decision from the Parole Board of Canada, Karam Vir continues to believe that he hasn’t done anything wrong and that his victims made false claims against him.

Vir, 34, was found guilty in May 2013 of two counts of touching a young person for a sexual purpose and one count of sexual assault in connection with incidents that took place in 2009 and 2010. He was sentenced in September to 21/2 years in prison, minus four months of credit for time served.

During his time in custody, Vir has taken classes in English as a second language, but has not taken any programming to mitigate his risk to reoffend — currently assessed at moderate — or made significant progress on his correctional plan.

The board said Vir has agreed to work toward completing his plan, “however, your (case management team) believes your willingness is superficial, given you do not feel you have committed any crime, ever.”

Vir — who has been charged in the past with, but not convicted of, assault and uttering threats — is assessed as having a high need for improvement in the areas of personal and emotional development, attitude, education and employment.

“It is noted that your behaviour indicates you feel superior to others, and that others are to follow your direction,” the parole decision states.

“Your previous criminal charges reflect your use of verbal and physical violence to intimidate your victims. Your institutional behaviour and your actions indicate your propensity to use verbal and physical violence as a problem-solving mechanism.”

The fact that Vir takes no responsibility for his criminal behaviour was of significant concern to his case management team, as team members believe Vir is unable to manage risky situations and behaviours. He has also failed to establish a relapse-prevention plan.

The case management team recommended that day and full parole be denied, and the board agreed.

“Balancing the positive and negative aspects of your file the board concludes that the negative ones outweigh the positive ones,” the board said.

Vir can apply for parole again in one year.

It is likely that when Vir is eventually released from prison, he will be deported to India. Vir is subject to an exclusion order, has no work visa and has expressed his desire to return to India upon his release.

jensaltman@theprovince.com

twitter.com/jensaltman

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